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8 Easy and Effective Ways to Relieve Constipation Fast

Being constipated is extremely uncomfortable. Here are some ways to relieve symptoms of constipation and feel better sooner!

6 min read
8 Easy and Effective Ways to Relieve Constipation Fast
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8 Easy and Effective Ways to Relieve Constipation Fast

Being constipated is extremely uncomfortable. Here are some ways to relieve symptoms of constipation and feel better sooner!

8 Easy and Effective Ways to Relieve Constipation Fast

Being constipated is extremely uncomfortable. Here are some ways to relieve symptoms of constipation and feel better sooner!

Constipation is characterised by hard, dry bowel motions (stools) that may be difficult or painful to pass.

You may also be considered constipated if you’re experiencing fewer than three bowel movements a week, or have the feeling that not all of your bowel has properly emptied when you go to the toilet.

Other symptoms of constipation can include bloating, abdominal cramps, straining to pass stool and/or having to sit on the toilet for longer than usual to pass stool.

You can refer to the Bristol Stool Chart to see what a healthy bowel movement should look like.

Constipation can be caused by a number of different factors, however, some common ones include:

  • Dehydration

  • Not eating enough fibre

  • Holding in a bowel movement/not going to the toilet when you need to

  • Stress

  • A change in routine

  • Lack of exercise

  • Medications

  • Pregnancy

  • Other health conditions and illness

If you’re experiencing ongoing, regular bouts of constipation it’s important you seek medical assistance from your GP as soon as possible to ensure it doesn’t cause any further health issues, such as faecal incontinence and haemorrhoids.

You can also try these tips, alongside your GP’s advice, to safely relieve constipation.

1. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water has so many health benefits, including maintaining healthy bowel movements. Aiming to drink a minimum of 2-2.5 litres of water a day will ensure you’re helping your digestive system break down food in the gut.

The large intestine draws water out of the stool before it leaves the body. So the more dehydrated you are, the harder, drier and more difficult to pass your stool could be. So drink up!

2. Try a toilet stool

Doing a poo in the correct posture can be a game-changer for constipation.

Using a toilet stool, also known as a squatty potty, helps get your body in the optimal position for passing stool. How, you ask? Well, it relaxes your puborectalis muscle and straightens out the colon, meaning the stool has a straighter, easier exit.

When you simply sit on the toilet normally, it actually keeps a kink in your lower bowel, which can lead to straining to get all the stool out. It can also lead to that feeling of incomplete emptying after using the toilet.

3. Eat high-fibre foods

Fibre is extremely important for your gut health. Eating the right amount of fibre helps increase the size and softness of your stools so they’re easier to pass. This will ensure you have regular bowel movements and avoid constipation.

As for how much fibre is the right amount, generally speaking, it is 30g a day for men and 25g for women. For children, the general rule of thumb is taking their age and adding 10 to it, so if they’re five years, add 10, and then you’ll know they require around 15g of fibre daily.

Different medical conditions can alter a person’s required fibre intake so always speak to your GP and/or a dietitian to be sure what you’re consuming is right for you.

High fibre foods that can help relieve constipation include:

  • Fruits like bananas, pears and apples

  • Vegetables like leafy greens, carrots and broccoli

  • Beans and lentils

  • Brown rice

  • Oats

  • Chia seeds

  • Nuts like walnuts, pecans and almonds

4. Avoid foods high in fat

When upping your fibre intake to aid in relieving constipation, just make sure that you’re limiting any high-fat, processed foods rich in the likes of oil and butter.

These foods can slow down your digestion and reduce the frequency and ease of your bowel movements.

Avoid the likes of:

  • Processed meats

  • Cheese

  • Fried foods

  • Lollies and other processed snacks

5. Ask about stool softeners

A stool softener isn’t a long-term solution for constipation, but in the short term, it can be effective in relieving it.

Taken in a tablet or liquid form, stool softeners moisten the stool by pulling water from your intestines, making it easier to pass the stool from your body. This isn’t to be confused with a laxative, which stimulates and squeezes the intestines to force a bowel movement.

6. Do some light exercise

Light walks, yoga and stretching can be really beneficial when it comes to relieving constipation, as they help increase blood flow throughout the abdomen to encourage a bowel movement.

Walking stimulates abdominal muscles and digestion. Yoga poses target the abdomen, stimulating digestive organs and improving intestinal mobility. Stretching exercises release tension, stimulate peristalsis, and aid in bowel movements. These activities also promote relaxation and overall well-being.

7. Take your Omega-3

Omega-3 supplements have many health benefits, including preventing heart disease and cancer, maintaining memory and managing arthritis.

And it turns out Omega-3s can also help with constipation. This is because they can lubricate the intestinal walls, allowing waste to pass through easily.

Foods such as fish, avocado, hemp and flaxseed are great sources of Omega-3, but if you're not getting enough from your diet you can also take oil supplements. Just be sure to speak to your GP before you start taking any new supplements.

8. Check your medications

Some medications can cause constipation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if this is the case for the medications and/or supplements you’re taking, and if so they can help you come up with suitable remedies tailored to your situation.

Constipation doesn’t have to dictate your life. So try these home remedies and speak to your GP to ensure you’re living as comfortably and confidently as possible.  

Constipation and incontinence

While it may not seem obvious, severe constipation is actually the most common cause of faecal incontinence or bowel leakage - particularly in the elderly. That’s because hard stools can cause a partial blockage high up in the bowel, resulting in watery bowel motions (similar to diarrhoea) moving around the blocked, constipated stool without warning.

Constipation can also affect bladder control, as an overly full bowel caused by constipation can press on the bladder, reducing the amount of space it has to hold urine and making it feel as though you urgently need to pass urine. At times this can mean it’s difficult to make it to the toilet in time.

If you’re experiencing incontinence related to constipation, you don’t need to let it dictate your day-to-day life. With our full range of continence management products, you’ll find a product to suit your level of incontinence that will be comfortable, reliable and allow you to live your best life.

If you need help choosing the right product for your level of incontinence, don’t worry, we’re here to help! You can call our team of friendly product specialists 6 days a week on 0800 088 5955 or take our easy but comprehensive online Help Me Choose quiz.

We look forward to helping you live your life more confidently!